best near-field active speakers for music listening ? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 37 Old 11-19-2018, 03:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Question best near-field active speakers for music listening ?

Hi
as mentioned in the title
i need them to be neutral or a bit laid-back with excellent soundstage

budget $250-$600

thank you <3
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post #2 of 37 Old 11-19-2018, 04:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albeshr View Post
Hi

as mentioned in the title

i need them to be neutral or a bit laid-back with excellent soundstage



budget $250-$600



thank you <3

I have no experience with self powered monitors, would you consider maybe normal monitors and a small 2 channel amplifier? Anyways Emotiva’s Stealth 8 Studio Monitors are supposed to be fantastic. Slightly out of your price range however.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #3 of 37 Old 11-19-2018, 05:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
I have no experience with self powered monitors, would you consider maybe normal monitors and a small 2 channel amplifier? Anyways Emotiva’s Stealth 8 Studio Monitors are supposed to be fantastic. Slightly out of your price range however.
yes i can consider the passive ones if they are good, the stealth is so huge for me and expensive as well.
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post #4 of 37 Old 11-19-2018, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albeshr View Post
yes i can consider the passive ones if they are good, the stealth is so huge for me and expensive as well.


Well for starters, when you say neutral or laid back, Emotiva, Chane, and Ascend all come to mind. Have a look at those companies and tell me if anything strikes your eyes.

As for the amplifier, maybe check your local Craigslist? A 5 or 7 channel receiver should be more than ample, and cheap. In fact, some will let you bi-amp so you can get even more performance out of your speakers. Otherwise, a simple stereo amp found at Parts Express or Amazon will work. Something like this: https://www.parts-express.com/lepai-...upply--310-303

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #5 of 37 Old 11-19-2018, 05:49 AM
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JBL 305PMII are very good and hard to beat for the money. They are on sale right now for $260, but if you can fit the larger 306 version, they would do better without a sub.

I’d connect them to a PC with a Topping D30 DAC, measures very well and does DSD as well. You can add in a volume control device if you want, but this would be a very nice nearfield system.


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post #6 of 37 Old 11-19-2018, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albeshr View Post
yes i can consider the passive ones if they are good, the stealth is so huge for me and expensive as well.
In that case, just get a pair of NHT SuperZeros ($57 each on Amazon, half off regular price) with a $200 small sub (Emotiva BasX 8) and a book-sized mini-amp like this:
https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-AD18-Amp...f=cts_sh_1_vtp

If you're interested in Emotiva's AMT tweeter (and I can attest to it being both warm/laid-back AND detailed) you can look at their smaller passive bookshelf, the B1:
https://emotiva.com/collections/loud...ts/airmotiv-b1
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post #7 of 37 Old 11-19-2018, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
JBL 305PMII are very good and hard to beat for the money. They are on sale right now for $260, but if you can fit the larger 306 version, they would do better without a sub.

I’d connect them to a PC with a Topping D30 DAC, measures very well and does DSD as well. You can add in a volume control device if you want, but this would be a very nice nearfield system.


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+1. I have the previous version of these speakers, the JBL LSR305 with a Scarlett 2i2 and some balanced TRS cables. These punch way above their price point and I'd easily recommend them. If you live near a Guitar Center or similar store, they may have a room where you can demo a bunch of different monitors as well. As a last resort, you can use THIS soundcloud library which has a bunch of monitor comparisons.
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post #8 of 37 Old 11-19-2018, 04:01 PM
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I use the Audio Engine A5 …$300'ish per pair, 50 watts x 2, Kevlar, no grills, and a Stereophile magazine "A" rating for sound quality.
I do have a ten inch Velodine subwoofer connected to them. The speakers are loud and play very well without the subwoofer. I also use an Audioquest Dragonfly Red between the Audio Engines and an ipad for digital music fun.

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post #9 of 37 Old 11-19-2018, 05:38 PM
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You could check out Vanatoo Transparent Zero. A buddy of mine has these and they seem good.

Here’s a review: http://noaudiophile.com/Vanatoo_Transparent_Zero/

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post #10 of 37 Old 11-19-2018, 05:42 PM
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the kef ls50 got huge amount of reviews and accolades.

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post #11 of 37 Old 11-19-2018, 05:50 PM
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i can verify that the emotiva b1 is a good candidate for what you are looking for..they are a bit laid back and smooth yet detailed ..and do well at low volume..

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r emotiva b1's and /or kef q100's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... ascend cbm 170 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. wharfedale 10.1s... ascend cbm 170 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #12 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 07:10 AM
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Despite being from Behringer, these little guys are outstanding.



https://www.ebay.com/itm/Behringer-T....c100005.m1851
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post #13 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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amazing suggestions from you all thank you <3

I finally rest on one of these
jbl 305 mkii
or
Edifier S880DB
https://www.amazon.com/Edifier-S880D...53507011&psc=1

any further suggestions to pick one of these two ?
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post #14 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 07:56 AM
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My KEF 300A active wired speakers are the best desktop speakers I have auditioned or bought.

The dual concentric array makes for a great soundstage in near-field applications.

You can usually find them on eBay in good condition for under $500USD.

Yamaha CX-A5100 PRE | Ashly XR-1001 X-Over | Emotiva XPR-5 Amp| Emotiva A-500 Amp | JBL XPL 200A Bi-amped Mains | Klipsch RC-64C III Center | Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds | SVS SB13 Ultra SUB

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post #15 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albeshr View Post
amazing suggestions from you all thank you <3



I finally rest on one of these

jbl 305 mkii

or

Edifier S880DB

https://www.amazon.com/Edifier-S880D...53507011&psc=1



any further suggestions to pick one of these two ?

The JBL are better speakers.


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post #16 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swargolet View Post
+1. I have the previous version of these speakers, the JBL LSR305 with a Scarlett 2i2 and some balanced TRS cables. These punch way above their price point and I'd easily recommend them. If you live near a Guitar Center or similar store, they may have a room where you can demo a bunch of different monitors as well. As a last resort, you can use THIS soundcloud library which has a bunch of monitor comparisons.
Another +1 for the JBL 305s. LSR or the newer MKII. Unlike most active studio monitors that use class AB amps, the 305s run class D. They stay cool and aren't munching away on electrons when idle. Class AB monitors can double as space heaters. Another added bonus is Guitar Center often has used pairs of these in great shape if you're looking to save further.
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post #17 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 08:34 AM
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Another +1 for the JBL 305s. LSR or the newer MKII. Unlike most active studio monitors that use class AB amps, the 305s run class D. They stay cool and aren't munching away on electrons when idle. Class AB monitors can double as space heaters. Another added bonus is Guitar Center often has used pairs of these in great shape if you're looking to save further.
I actually measured the power draw of the speakers using a Kill-a-watt and this is what I measured for a SINGLE speaker:
Idle: 3.8W
Casual volume: 4W
Max Volume: 18W


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post #18 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albeshr View Post
I finally rest on one of these
jbl 305 mkii
or
Edifier S880DB
https://www.amazon.com/Edifier-S880D...53507011&psc=1
I have no opinion on the Edifier since I've never heard them, but if "a bit laid back" is something you're looking for as you wrote in your OP, that is NOT something you'll get from the JBLs...great soundstage/imaging, yes.

Better choice if you definitely don't want to go with passive speakers + mini amp then would be these:
https://www.amazon.com/Acoustics-Pow...+acoustics+bt3
https://www.whathifi.com/q-acoustics/q-bt3/review

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #19 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 03:41 PM
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but if "a bit laid back" is something you're looking for as you wrote in your OP, that is NOT something you'll get from the JBLs...great soundstage/imaging, yes.
What does that even mean? Do they participate in crossfit and lead an active lifestyle? They're flat, you can EQ them to your heart's content. "Laid back" listening to me means a lower volume level and chill tunes, doesn't matter the speaker.
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post #20 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 03:43 PM
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What does that even mean? Do they participate in crossfit and lead an active lifestyle? They're flat, you can EQ them to your heart's content. "Laid back" listening to me means a lower volume level and chill tunes, doesn't matter the speaker.
"Laid back" is the opposite of "forward."

Has nothing to do with "warm" vs "bright."

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #21 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 03:48 PM
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"Laid back" is the opposite of "forward."

Has nothing to do with "warm" vs "bright."
Ok. So turn them around backwards when listening. Problem solved.
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post #22 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 03:52 PM
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Ok. So turn them around backwards when listening. Problem solved.
lol, just admit that your "audiophile" vocabulary is lacking, ok?

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #23 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 04:52 PM
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Dynaudio is in many recording studios and is the primary supplier for the BBC TV and Radio at this time. Slightly more than your $800 budget but they would be well worth it. And they’d sound the way you’re describing wanting them to sound.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...udio-bm5-mkiii

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post #24 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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"Laid back" is the opposite of "forward."

Has nothing to do with "warm" vs "bright."
i meant a bit less treble, and it's defiantly related to being bright or dark.

Anyway that's not a big of a problem since the jbl's is kinda flat in that region anyway 👍
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post #25 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 06:19 PM
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lol, just admit that your "audiophile" vocabulary is lacking, ok?
I had a feeling this might be in the realm of audio-astrology. I do find the JBL's octave wave melding somewhat lacking, but it has great depth of astral prominence. I haven't auditioned the Edifier's either, but I've read their spacial sibilance reconciliation was decent.
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post #26 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 06:24 PM
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What does that even mean? Do they participate in crossfit and lead an active lifestyle? They're flat, you can EQ them to your heart's content. "Laid back" listening to me means a lower volume level and chill tunes, doesn't matter the speaker.
Speakers aren't headphones. You can't directly EQ the power response, which is where most of that perceived brightness is coming from, it's a result of the waveguide. All you can do is EQ the axial response, which is only a small portion of what you hear in a room. For nearfield speakers ultra wide dispersion designs with a large waveguide can be hit or miss. They will definitely sound good in a well treated room, but in an average room a more directional speaker may sound better, and will definitely be more tweakable via EQ.

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post #27 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 06:33 PM
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Anyway that's not a big of a problem since the jbl's is kinda flat in that region anyway 👍
The thing you have to bear in mind with frequency response measurements is that they are usually taken in anechoic chambers.

How a speaker sounds in an actual live ROOM can be very different.

Anyway, as long as you order them from the JBL website you get free return shipping so it's no risk. The $20 rebate ends today though.
https://www.jbl.com/studio-monitors/305PMKII.html

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #28 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 07:19 PM
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The thing you have to bear in mind with frequency response measurements is that they are usually taken in anechoic chambers.

How a speaker sounds in an actual live ROOM can be very different. [/url]
Your statement does not match current research. Quote from Dr. Toole

"The information content of the spinorama is such that Dr. Sean Olive was able to predict from anechoic data preference ratings that had a 0.86 correlation with the results of double-blind tests for 70 loudspeakers of all sizes and prices. For loudspeakers of similar size, and bass response, the correlation was 0.995 – perfection. These are predictions from anechoic measurements being compared to subjective evaluations done in an acoustically normal room. Whatever effects the room had they did not swamp the inherent performance attributes of the loudspeakers. See Section 5.7 in my book, or: Olive, S.E. (2004a). “A multiple regression model for predicting loudspeaker preference using objective measurements: part 1 – listening test results”, 116th Convention, Audio Eng. Soc., Preprint 6113. Olive, S.E. (2004b). “A multiple regression model for predicting loudspeaker preference using objective measurements: part 2 – development of the model”, 117th Convention, Audio Eng. Soc., Preprint 6190."


What they found was that speakers that measured well in an anechoic chamber both on and off axis were preferred over speakers that didn't measure well when compared with double blind tests in normal listening rooms. Because of the correlation between anechoic measurements and listeners preference it allows manufacturers to use measurements to get the design close before bringing in listeners, saving on the cost and time of R&D. Research has shown that most people preferred accurate speakers. Do keep in mind that at the listening position the high frequencies are slightly rolled off because high frequencies lose their energy faster than low frequencies. So a speaker that is flat in an anechoic chamber will be slightly rolled off at say a dozen feet away. This slight roll off is preferred by listeners, so for nearfield listening one might want to cut the highs a little. Many studio monitors have controls to cut highs and lows to account for differences in placement and preferences. The JBL's mentioned have both high frequency and low frequency (boundary control) switches to give some adjustment as well as many other brands.
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post #29 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 07:30 PM
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What they found was that speakers that measured well in an anechoic chamber both on and off axis were preferred over speakers that didn't measure well when compared with double blind tests in normal listening rooms. Because of the correlation between anechoic measurements and listeners preference it allows manufacturers to use measurements to get the design close before bringing in listeners, saving on the cost and time of R&D. Research has shown that most people preferred accurate speakers. Do keep in mind that at the listening position the high frequencies are slightly rolled off because high frequencies lose their energy faster than low frequencies. So a speaker that is flat in an anechoic chamber will be slightly rolled off at say a dozen feet away. This slight roll off is preferred by listeners, so for nearfield listening one might want to cut the highs a little. Many studio monitors have controls to cut highs and lows to account for differences in placement and preferences. The JBL's mentioned have both high frequency and low frequency (boundary control) switches to give some adjustment as well as many other brands.
So basically, a speaker that measures "neutral" in an anechoic chamber may need some sort of EQing if one is sitting much closer than 12ft.

This pretty much confirms my experience with Ascend speakers, which also measure impressively flat but at high volumes, sitting 8-10ft away, and particularly with non-ideal recordings and higher volumes, were not nearly as pleasant during prolonged music listening as a "laid back" and "warm" speaker like the Wharfedales.

Out of curiosity, does Toole's work touch on the issue of "forward" vs "laid back" presentations? I understand this to be a different matter than just frequency response, and was wondering whether it is even a measurable quantity.
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~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #30 of 37 Old 11-21-2018, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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OK guys i found 2 deals that seems good for me (thanks <3 to @callas01 for the suggestion)

2x Dynaudio BM5 MKIII
1x Millenium BS-500 Set (stands)
for $856.40

or
2xJBL 305p mkii
for $419


(all include overseas shipping and taxes)
is the Dynaudio worth the extra money ?
i need your opinions for this
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